Jharkhand High Court: Anubha Rawat Choudhary, J., held that right to claim maintenance must date back to the date of filing the application since the period during which the maintenance proceedings remained pending is not within the control of the applicant.
The facts of the case were such that the Family Court had allowed the application filed under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and directed the opposite party to pay an amount of Rs 1500 per month to the petitioner from the date of passing of the judgement and had further directed to pay Rs 5,000 lump sum as litigation cost and had also directed the opposite party to make payment of monthly allowance on or before 10th day of each month of English calendar.
By an order dated 31-01-2020, the High Court had refused to interfere with the quantum of maintenance. However, the notice was issued on the point regarding effective date of grant of maintenance whether it should have been from the date of passing of the impugned judgement or from the date of filing of the maintenance application.
The petitioner relied upon the judgement of the Supreme Court in Rajnesh v. Neha, (2021) 2 SCC 324, to submit that the law had been well-settled that in a case of maintenance, the maintenance is to be awarded from the date of filing of the application since the period during which maintenance proceeding remained pending, is not within the control of the applicant.
In the above mentioned case, the Supreme Court had issued direction to bring about uniformity and consistency in the orders passed by all courts by directing that maintenance be awarded from the date on which the application was made before court concerned, and the right to claim maintenance must date back to the date of filing the application since the period during which the maintenance proceedings remained pending is not within the control of the applicant.
In the backdrop of above, the High Court held that the impugned order was not sustainable in law to the extent it directed payment of monthly maintenance from the date of judgement, and consequently, the Bench modified by holding that the petitioner would be entitled for the payment of monthly allowance as fixed by the Family Court from the date of filing of application; i.e. 22-09-2014.
Since, the entire arrears of maintenance for 88 months till January, 2022 came to Rs 1,32,000 and by including litigation expenses, it became 1,37,000; the respondent was directed to remit the arrears of maintenance and litigation expenses amounting in monthly instalment of Rs 10,000 each with effect from 10-02-2022 along with the current monthly maintenance amount for each month in the bank account of the petitioner through RTGS mode. [Rinki Kumari v. Kundan Kumar, 2022 SCC OnLine Jhar 22, decided on 07-01-2022]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For the Petitioner: Arjun N. Deo, Advocate
For the Respondent: Vikas Kumar, Advocate